This is a guest post from Title Source. Title Source is one of the largest providers of title insurance, property valuations and settlement services in the nation.
When we talk about abstracts in the title insurance world, we aren’t referencing an unusual piece of art but rather a very important report. An abstract tells the title insurers exactly what they need to know about the property’s history in order to prepare a title commitment. The following are property documents and details that they look for in an abstract:
- Deeds and changes of property ownership
- Open mortgages
There are two different types of abstracts. For a refinance transaction, we usually look for a 24 month chain of title. In other words, we want the abstract report to reflect two years of the property’s history. For a purchase transaction, we will do a full search that will include ten to 70 years of the property’s history but this depends, of course, on the life of the property as well as state laws. Here’s a fun fact for you- In the state of Louisiana, the law dictates that we must conduct a search to be a minimum of ten years history AND at least two property owners for a refinance transaction.
Where can I find an abstract or the history of a property?
Information and documents in the abstract can be found in public county records. Some counties have this information available online, however, other states still have not yet moved into the digital era. Anyone can pull public deeds and recorded documents from county records if desired, but an abstract or search on a property will cost a fee.
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